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NewsBites December 2010 Issue

Extra Pounds Weigh Heavily on Your Wallet

B eing fat can make you lean in the wallet. Thatís the conclusion of an analysis of previous studies of the economic impact of obesity that found women especially suffer fnancially from being obeseó$4,879 a year, compared to $2,646 annually in extra costs and lost income for obese men. Besides higher medical bills, George Washington University researchers added in factors such as sick days, lost productivity and wage differences, which were key to the gender difference. Obese women earn less than their skinnier peers, while wages donít differ much per pound for men. Merely being overweight carried a much smaller economic toll than obesity: $524 a year for women and $432 for men. When the dollar value of lost years of life was added to the fgures for obesity, factoring in increased mortality risk with ex- tra pounds, the annual tab for obese women shot up to $8,365 and for men to $6,518.

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